Friday 18 September 2020


Manila – The British Council has announced the winners of the 2020 IELTS Prize. In its ninth year, the IELTS Prize has supported more than 270 students in East Asia to date; helping them pursue their dreams of studying abroad. This year, 29 winners in East Asia are added to the list, including three outstanding IELTS test takers in the Philippines who have been awarded the IELTS Prize 2019/20 local prizes.

The British Council received over 1,400 applications and interviewed over 100 high flying individuals, who excelled at their IELTS test and their intentions to contribute to the society locally or abroad after study.

Three top test takers in East Asia won the regional IELTS Prizes

Three regional IELTS Prizes valued up to GBP 58,000 were awarded to top students in East Asia who will pursue higher education in their dream universities either in academic year 2020/21 or 2021/22. There were 26 winners from countries and territories in East Asia who were also awarded local prizes, up to GBP 129,000 in total.

Commenting on her award, Regional Grand Prize winner Hyunah Kim said, ‘Studying in the UK is something I wanted to achieve, and I wasn’t going to let the recent disruption stop that. Now I am heading to the UK, to study at the London School of Economics. Receiving the IELTS Prize will help me fulfil my education and career ambitions, and it gives me a lot more certainty, at what is a very uncertain time.’

Local IELTS Prizes awarded to three outstanding test takers in the Philippines

The three local prize winners in the Philippines are Justine Alyssa Guino, Jessica Isabelle Badua, and Ithran Issachar Kho.

For first prize winner Guino, winning the IELTS Prize is validation that her aspirations are worth fighting for. ‘Throughout the application process from the personal statement to the interviews, I felt that there was a huge focus on motivations as an individual and the potential for translating passions to impact regardless of the chosen discipline or university. I was excited to share my journey and aspirations as I felt that the British Council was supportive not just of study abroad plans but, ultimately, of dreams,’ she said.

The Covid-19 Pandemic has disrupted study plans of millions of students to further their academic and career prospects abroad. East Asia has one of the largest number of students wishing to study in the United Kingdom, North America and Australia. IELTS, the world’s most popular high-stakes English proficiency test, has been a crucial part of students’ entry requirements. Steve Adams, Director Examinations, for the British Council in East Asia said,‘The IELTS Prize recognises those high performing students that demonstrate the academic excellence and commitment to excel during international study. More importantly, they show the determination to take what they learnt during their time abroad and use it to benefit their communities when they return home. It is our privilege to help these talented individuals make their mark in the world that is rapidly changing. International study is one way they can prepare themselves to thrive in the future.’

For more information about IELTS prize, visit

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About IELTS Prize

Since 2011, the British Council IELTS Prize (East Asia) has enabled more than 270 IELTS test takers to pursue their studies around the world, including the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, and more.

The IELTS Prize is awarded to high-calibre individuals with the motivation to develop their career, to pursue an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in any chosen discipline in a higher education institution that accepts IELTS as part of its admission requirements around the world. While the IELTS Prize is not aimed at students in any one particular discipline, the British Council is eager to support test takers who demonstrate the potential to contribute to society with what they have gained from their undergraduate or postgraduate study experience.

This year, due to the Covid-19 situation, in order to cater for students’ changing plans and to better support their study dreams, the British Council had extended the IELTS Prize eligibility to those deferring their studies into the next academic year 2021/22. More information can be found at

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.